Sexual Assault as a Law of War Violation & U.S. Service-Members’ Duty to Report

8 Pages Posted: 28 May 2016 Last revised: 11 Dec 2018

See all articles by Chris Jenks

Chris Jenks

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Jay Morse

Center for Civilians in Conflict

Date Written: May 25, 2016

Abstract

This Essay considers when U.S. service members deployed to Afghanistan are obligated to report allegations of sexual assault by Afghan security forces against Afghan nationals to the U.S. military. The answer requires applying a longstanding Department of Defense policy for reporting law of war violations and hinges on whether there is a nexus between the sexual assault and the armed conflict in Afghanistan. Although recent attention on this topic has brought much-needed visibility to sexual assault in conflict zones, the overbroad assertions of the media and the military have unfortunately fostered more confusion than clarity. This Essay does not attempt to resolve the debate about whether there is a reporting obligation, but rather suggests the framework by which the issue should be considered.

Keywords: sexual assault, rape, Afghanistan, service-members, reporting, obligation, requirement, Afghan security forces, ASF, armed conflict, department of defense, DoD, directive, nexus, child, boy

Suggested Citation

Jenks, Chris and Morse, Joseph, Sexual Assault as a Law of War Violation & U.S. Service-Members’ Duty to Report (May 25, 2016). 69 Stanford Law Review Online 1 (2016); SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 274. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2784444

Chris Jenks (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

Joseph Morse

Center for Civilians in Conflict ( email )

1850 M Street NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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